Did you know that peripheral neuropathy affects more than 30 million Americans? Or that it can impact a patient’s body in many ways? That’s because the peripheral nerves include everything from sensory to motor and autonomic nerves. These nerves connect the skin, internal organs, and muscles to the spinal cord. And the pain and discomfort associated with them may get exacerbated by factors such as injury, disease, vitamin deficiencies, and inflammation.
Here’s what your patients need to know about this American epidemic, who it impacts, and what next steps look like.
What Is Peripheral Neuropathic Pain?
What do you need to tell your patients about peripheral neuropathic pain? For starters, make sure they realize individuals experience symptoms of this disorder in a variety of different ways. For example, a person may describe the sensation as numbness, pain, weakness, or tingling in the extremities. Some patients also report a pins-and-needles feeling.
Why do patients experience these out-of-the-ordinary sensations? Because when their nerve fibers get damaged, they malfunction. As a result, the fibers send the wrong signals to the body’s pain centers. What’s more, where nerve damage occurs, nerve fiber function may be altered.
Who Does Peripheral Neuropathy Impact?
Who proves most vulnerable to this type of neuropathic pain? This condition can occur in people from all walks of life. Your patients must realize that if they’re among the 30 million Americans with diabetes, their odds of experiencing peripheral neuropathy increase dramatically. How dramatically? Sixty percent of those diagnosed with diabetes deal with neuropathic pain.
But the buck doesn’t stop at diabetes. Other conditions also contribute to the onset of peripheral nerve discomfort. These conditions may include chemotherapy, drug use, alcoholism, and exposure to industrial toxins. As you can see, our contemporary world represents a perfect storm of contributing factors to this ailment. And it’s up to you to ensure your patients understand this.
What Does It Feel Like?
What are some of the symptoms most widely reported with peripheral neuropathy? They include:
What to Do About It
Left untreated, diabetic neuropathy can come with devastating consequences. These consequences include everything from debilitating pain to amputation. How prevalent is amputation as an outcome? Roughly 86,000 Americans with untreated neuropathy require it each year. That’s why it’s so vital for you to help your patients create a multi-pronged approach to treating peripheral nerve pain.
This approach includes proper nutrition and paying attention to patients’ nitric oxide levels. That’s why we recommend testing your patients’ levels every time they visit your clinic. They should also incorporate a high-quality nitrate supplement that’s easily absorbable into their daily routine. Here’s where to shop for the best test strips and supplements.
Patient Resources: Where to Start
Ramping up your patients’ nitric oxide will set the stage for optimal outcomes by using infrared light therapy that releases that gas molecule to enter the endothelial cells and begin the process of vasodilation. This innovative approach eliminates the shortcomings of other modalities used to treat peripheral neuropathy, making your life easier and your patients’ lives more comfortable. Find out more about this therapeutic approach.
3/30/2023 04:56:48 pm
While this article provides a good overview of peripheral neuropathy, it oversimplifies the treatment approach by suggesting that ramping up nitric oxide levels and using infrared light therapy is the solution. While these therapies may provide some relief, they should be used in conjunction with other evidence-based treatments such as medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes. Additionally, it is important to note that not all patients with neuropathy have low nitric oxide levels, and testing and supplementing nitric oxide should be done on a case-by-case basis with guidance from a medical professional.
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